When the World Series ends, you wait nearly half a year for baseball to come back. After the Super Bowl, football fans have until August until college football and the NFL preseason start up. For NBA fans, the Finals bring about a four-month hiatus until the following season.
The PGA Tour, however, has a rather abbreviated offseason lasting approximately 90 hours. It just so happens that we recently saw the 2016-17 PGA Tour season end with the conclusion of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, and then the season started right back up with the Safeway Open.
Going into the Tour Championship, the last installment of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, those at the top of the points list were looking for the season-long trophy and $10 million paycheck given to the winner.
Tour young-gunner and rising star Justin Thomas was locked in and took home the FedEx Cup, despite not winning the last tournament of the season. At 24 years old, J-T had an incredibly impressive résumé by the end of the 16-17 season, featuring five wins, three of which were consecutive; a major championship, the first of what is expected to be many, which was captured at this year’s PGA Championship; not to mention the FedEx Cup.
Thomas’ résumé was good enough to earn the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year award, a highly impressive feat for someone so young.
Thomas’ prowess translated into the Presidents Cup, a bi-annual, match-play, Ryder Cup- style competition between the United States and the rest of the world, excluding Europe.
Between the first two days of the competition, Team USA won eight of the 10 possible points, garnering four and a half of those eight on day two.
Justin Thomas blazed through the team matches undefeated, only falling to Hideki Matsuyama after the U.S. had already captured enough points to win the Presidents Cup on the last day.
Future Hall-of-Famer and golf legend Phil Mickelson, a captain’s pick for this year’s Presidents Cup, went undefeated throughout his three matches, carding a halved match on the first day, which would be his worst of the weekend.
Tiger Woods was on-scene as an Assistant Team Captain, inducing his ever fearsome Tiger-intimidation factor on the International Team.
Tiger made his most prominent appearance when disputing a ruling by an official on Jordan Spieth’s action of picking up another player’s moving ball, even though the result of the hole was determined. The rules official involved actually told off Tiger. He told Tiger that the conversation was just between Spieth and himself.
Let’s just say, if I were ever involved enough in golf to be a rules official at the Presidents Cup, I’d have enough reverence for the greatest golfer to ever live to not tell him off when he’s making a case on a golf ruling.
With the United States’ domination of the Presidents Cup, winning 19-11, it’s plainly evident that the world’s greatest players are American-made. Rory McIlroy, Ian Poutler and the rest of the European team have their work cut out for them to try and take the Ryder Cup home with them in 2018.